5 Common Reasons for Car Lockouts and When to Call a Locksmith

Car Lockout

Technology is always advancing, which means that even previously simplistic things such as car locks have grown increasingly complex. Unless you have a classic car or one that’s more than a dozen years or so old, your vehicle likely doesn’t rely on the standard ‘put key in lock and turn’ method. Regardless of how you open your locked doors, there is likely to be a time when you find yourself locked out for any number of the following reasons.

1. You Just Can’t Find the Keys Anywhere

You know exactly where you put them—at least you thought you did! After spending hours looking for them in every nook and cranny with no success, a quick call to a professional locksmith service can help you out in a pinch, even if you have a more challenging entry system such as key fobs and smart keys.

(Psst – if you find yourself in the situation a lot, may we suggest these top 5 keyfinders?)

2. Keys are Locked Inside the Vehicle Cab or Trunk

It can be incredibly frustrating when you realize that you shut the door and realize that your keys are right there staring you in the face behind the window. If you’ve ever loaded something into your trunk and distractedly set the keys inside and closed the hatch, you’ve had a similar feeling. Depending on the model of your car, the old-school methods of a coat hanger, slim jim or screwdriver might cause more harm than good. Go ahead and call a locksmith if you don’t have a spare set of keys.

3. The Key Broke in the Door or Ignition

While inconvenient, it’s not uncommon for keys to become stuck in the door lock or ignition switch—especially concerning older cars with aging, brittle keys. Step one is to extract the key from its lodged position. Step two is to utilize your spare keys.

If you don’t have the tools or skill for extraction or functional spare keys, step three is to call a professional locksmith service for assistance. They have extraction tools and the ability to make you a new key on the spot.

4. Key Fob or Transponder Failure

If your auto has a key fob or transponder that’s not responding to commands that open doors or start the ignition, the issue could be one of many things. The easiest fix is to see if the batteries in the remote dead, which typically happens without any warning. If you don’t have spare batteries, but have a spare fob, you can see if that one works.

If so, you might need replace the batteries in the old unit. In situations where the battery isn’t the culprit, it could mean that the fob’s or transponder’s internal computer chip has lost its programming or is broken. In these cases, an experienced locksmith can help reprogram your key fob if it’s not under dealership warranty.

5. Attempted Vehicle Theft

If a thief tries to break into your car several things can cause you to be locked out. They can damage your door locks with entry tools, causing damage to the ignition and doors. If your car is more modern and has a transponder or fob connected to an alarm security system, this unauthorized entry attempt can render your car disabled due to the triggering the internal computer mechanism that recognizes attempts to enter without proper keys or transponders and disables the ignition. You might have to contact your dealer to deactivate this device, but often an experienced locksmith can offer you assistance.

Lockouts in New Cars Versus Older and Luxury Models

As mentioned earlier, classic cars that haven’t been updated for automatic door locks or ignition features are typically much simpler to fix than newer or luxury vehicles. Modern autos can disable the ignition when burglars strike or when you attempt to enter the car without disabling the alarm.

Luxury models with Smart Key features are also known as proximity keys, meaning when the fob is on the user, they can simply touch the door handle and the system unlocks the doors. These luxury and modern vehicle models can be trickier to handle and typically require the assistance of an automobile locksmith.

Need Auto Locksmith Services to Get You Moving?

Are you locked out of your car? Contact Great Valley Lockshop today though our free estimate form or call us at 610-644-5334! We replace all types of keys, replace transponders, key fobs, and we can help you even if you have an older model or a new luxury car. We offer key extraction and can even replace door lock and ignition switches if you desire.

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